CHICAGO (AP) — Hitting the ball — often hard — wasn’t a problem for the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday night. Pitching was another matter.
Ian Kinsler had five of Detroit’s 19 hits, including a home run, and the Tigers used a three-run eighth inning to rally for a 10-8 victory over the Chicago Cubs.
Nick Castellanos had a two-run single and J.D. Martinez added a sacrifice fly in the tie-breaking eighth after Detroit couldn’t hold a four run lead.
Kinsler, who added a double and sac fly, also scored three runs.
"A triple shy of the cycle," manager Brad Ausmus said. "He swung the bat well. Offensively the lineup did their part. We’ve just got to be better out of the bullpen."
Martinez and Anthony Gose also homered for the Tigers in a game that was delayed for 2 hours and 17 minutes after a strong thunderstorm hit with one out in the bottom of the third.
After lining out three times earlier in the game, Castellanos’ soft single in the eighth that drove in two runs turned out to be key.
"Thanks baseball gods. It felt good," Castellanos said. "My worst at-bat of the game was the base hit with two RBIs, but in the box score it was the best."
Anthony Rizzo singled in Dexter Fowler to tie it 6-all in the seventh as the Cubs rallied. But they lost their second straight following a nine-game winning streak. Chicago’s eight-game home winning streak also ended.
Rookie Kyle Schwarber launched a three-run homer, his ninth in 35 games, and Chris Coghlan hit a two-run shot for the Cubs.
Al Alburquerque (3-0), the fourth of six Detroit relievers, got one out and the win.
"Really we didn’t have a lot of clean innings today out of the bullpen other than for (Alex) Wilson," Ausmus said. "The pitch count goes up and it puts a lot of stress on the bullpen for the next day because guys can’t some back.
"The rain didn’t help, but we need to do a better job."
Detroit was ahead 5-2 when the storm hit.
Pedro Strop (1-6), the fifth of six Chicago relievers, gave up the three runs in the eighth and took the loss
Cubs starter Jason Hammel was hit hard in three innings, allowing five runs and nine hits, including Detroit’s three homers. Jason Motte, who took over in the fourth following the rain delay, allowed the first earned run given up by the Cubs’ bullpen since Aug. 9.
Tom Gorzelanny relieved Detroit starter Anibal Sanchez following the delay.
Sanchez, who allowed Coghlan’s homer among three hits in 2 1-3 innings, hasn’t won since July 23. In his last five starts he has three losses and two no-decisions while permitting 20 runs in 25 2-3 innings.
After Hammel struck out Gose leading off, the next three Tigers ripped the ball. Kinsler and Martinez homered, and Cabrera doubled as Detroit jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first.
Cabrera’s liner was caught by a fan who reached out with a glove over the basket above the wall in left field. The hit, originally called a homer, was changed to a double after a video review.
Coghlan’s two-run opposite field shot in the bottom of the inning cut it to 3-2, but Gose replied with a two-run homer in the second to move Detroit ahead 5-2.
Schwarber’s blast deep into the bleachers in right field in the fifth made it 6-5.
Tigers: C Bryan Holaday, who was expected to be recalled on Sept. 1 when rosters expand, may be out for the season after injuring his left thumb on Monday playing for Triple-A Toledo. Mud Hens manager Larry Parrish told the Detroit News Holaday either "dislocated or fractured" the thumb in a collision at home plate.
Cubs: RHP Rafael Soriano (right shoulder inflammation) threw a simulated game on Tuesday, but manager Joe Maddon did not have a report on his progress. Soriano is expected to go on a rehab assignment when he’s ready to return to live action.
Tigers left-hander Daniel Norris (2-2, 4.24 ERA) faces red-hot Cubs lefty Jon Lester (8-8, 3.21 ERA) on Wednesday night in the second game of the two-game set. Lester has gone 4-0 with a 2.05 ERA and 40 strikeouts in his last five starts.
Maddon doesn’t was his young players overthinking as many navigate through a major-league playoff hunt for the first time. "When you’re unconsciously competent, that’s the zone," he said. "If you can get more guys in that particular moment, they’re going to perform at their highest level."
And Maddon emphasizes he makes no "Lombardi or George Halas speeches."